In this hybrid seminar, Mr Carlos Kuriyama and Mr Foo Cher How shared APEC’s latest update of the APEC Regional Trends Analysis and a discussion of Singapore’s priorities under APEC USA 2023.
SINGAPORE APEC STUDY CENTRE SEMINAR
Thursday, 30 March 2023 – The United States is host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2023. Under the theme “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All”, APEC member economies are working towards building a more interconnected, innovative, and inclusive APEC region. To know more about this theme and the underlying joint effort of the member countries, the Singapore APEC Study Centre at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute organised a hybrid seminar featuring Mr Carlos Kuriyama, Director of APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU), and Mr Foo Cher How, Deputy Director for the Multilateral Trade Policy Division at the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), Singapore.
Beginning his presentation with a discussion of the economic outlook in the APEC region from the latest (February 2023) update of the APEC Regional Trends Analysis (ARTA), Mr Kuriyama explained that the APEC region is projected to significantly weaken in the near term following strong growth in 2021 as downside risks dominate the global economic landscape. Specifically, stubborn inflation, higher interest rates, and debt combined with sluggish trade and investments will impact the economic outlook. Mr Kuriyama added that this highly uncertain environment requires clear, consistent and coordinated policies – all aimed at bringing down inflation, keeping trade open, boosting digitalisation, achieving equitable growth and addressing climate change.
Drawing the audience’s attention to Singapore’s APEC priorities, Mr Foo elaborated on how APEC economies could work in tandem to foster a greener post-COVID-19 future. In particular, he highlighted the Singapore government’s push to advance decarbonisation and the uptake of clean energy in the region. MTI, in this regard, has been assisting businesses to integrate into the green economy and developing a whole-of-economy approach for sustainable growth. Mr Foo also emphasised the importance of APEC continuing its efforts to deepen regional economic integration, to realise the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP).
The presentation concluded with the recommendation that APEC must demonstrate leadership in enhancing trade facilitation, building supply chain resilience and supporting the growth of digital and green economies. The 90-minute hybrid seminar was attended by an audience composed of research scholars, students, policymakers and the general public. The speakers also answered their questions on an array of topics, including the impact of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on APEC’s economic growth, the region’s possible mediating role in resolving the US-China trade conflict and progress on free trade agreements (FTAs) with the European Union.